What is an Equality Impact Assessment?
An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is a means of understanding the likely or actual impacts of a private or public organisation’s practices, policies, interactions, and decision making. Evidence-based and systematic, they aim to remove barriers to access and eliminate discrimination and are typically used to analyse all of a business’ or public sector organisation’s activities, internal and external.
Once an Equality Impact Assessment has been taken place, it should be used to inform decision making and feed into the development and adaptation of plans so they don’t harm individuals covered by the Equality Act 2010’s protected characteristics:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
Since 2012, public bodies have not been legally obliged to carry out Equality Impact Assessments, however, they still must demonstrate due regard to the Equality Act 2010 in their decision making. This means a tried and trusted means of assessing equality of access is still a valuable tool.